ILOCOS BLACK GARLIC DISPLAYED IN JAPANESE HEALTH EXHIBIT
Taraka Inc. President Kimio Takarada and MMSU President Shirley Agrupis (left photo) pose for a souvenir shot during the Japan Healthy Lifestyle Exhibition conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) at the Trinoma activity center in Manila on March 9-10. Right photo shows Takarada and two MMSU staff with some of the displayed black garlic products of MMSU. (Photo courtesy of MMSU StratCom)
BATAC CITY — The black garlic product of state-run Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) here has started going global after its successful debut in a prestigious Japanese exhibition.
In the Japan Healthy Lifestyle Exhibition held at the Trinoma activity center in Manila on March 9-10, Japanese firm Takara, Inc. has included the black garlic products of MMSU among its many garlic products that were exhibited during the event, which was organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
“We are really grateful to the Takara company especially its president, Mr. Kimio Takarada, for including our product in this prestigious Japanese exhibition,” MMSU President Shirley Agrupis said on Tuesday.
The company was one of the 40 Japanese exhibitors that participated in the exhibition that showcased various health care products, healthy food, and elderly care products in Japan.
MMSU has partnered with Takara, Inc. to boost the production of black garlic using local garlic varieties such as Ilocos White, Ilocos Pink, and Tan Bolters.
Studies have shown that daily consumption of black garlic may lower the risk of cardio vascular diseases, helps destroy cancer cells in the body, boosts properties against infection, and reduces inflammation, because of its high amount of antioxidants.
In a study conducted by Agrupis, at least eight phytochemicals are present in black garlic — alkaloids, flavonoid, phenol, steroids, cardiac glycosides, carbohydrate, terpenoids, and protein.
The black garlic products displayed at the Japanese exhibition were processed from the black garlic processing machine donated by the Japanese to MMSU last February.
Installed at the MMSU Food Processing and Innovation Center, the 100-kilogram machine is now being used for the university’s Black Garlic Research and Development Program, an initiative that aims to commercialize black garlic in Ilocos Norte and in the country.
“We are excited for this new endeavor that MMSU is embracing for the Ilocano people and the garlic industry in the Philippines as a whole,” Agrupis said, as she thanked Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos “for prompting me to work on this development project way back in 2015.”
The exhibition — which serves as venue in promoting various Japanese health products to Filipino consumers — was first held in 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar and later on in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam, Bangkok in Thailand, and in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Established in 1958, JETRO is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. (PNA)